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World Vision engages religious leaders in Ebola fight

DECEMBER 10, 2014 By Tiva Ansuman in Bo

World Vision  Sierra Leone,  in  partnership  with  Catholic  Relief  Service (CRS),  CARITAS and CAFORD, has concluded a two-day workshop for faith leaders drawn from Christian and Muslim communities on the theme: “Channel of Hope for Ebola”.

Held at the conference hall of J&E Resort Centre in Bo, the training workshop attracted religious leaders from Bo, Bonthe, Pujehun, Kenema and Bombali districts and the Western Area.

According to Daniella Bundu, Development Facilitator at World Vision, they and their partners  decided  to engage  Christian  and Muslim  faith  leaders  because  they command  tremendous respect among their respective congregations, and thus have the leverage to disseminate information on containing the spread of the Ebola virus.

She said World Vision and partners intend to build confidence in Sierra Leoneans that despite the Ebola outbreak, there is still light at the end of the tunnel, thus the theme, “Channel of Hope for Ebola”.

According to Field Christian Commitment Officer in Bo, Bonthe and Pujehun districts, Rev.  Thomas Beckley, ‘Channel of Hope’ is one of the tools used by the organization to addressing critical crisis situations. He revealed that they used a similar theme in the fight against the spread of HIV/Aids and child protection issues.

He maintained that the outbreak is an urgent national crisis that needs holistic response, noting that the disease has exposed issues of indiscipline and lawlessness, which he said is the reason why people continue to wash dead bodies and bury the dead, which in turn is responsible for the spike in new cases across the country.

Mr. Beckley expressed World Vision’s commitment to replicating the workshop in their other operational communities.

The organizers are of the view that faith leaders, while addressing their respective congregations through sermons, will pass vital Ebola messages that will help change attitudes and behaviour to break the chain of transmission.

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